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Old 28.04.2015, 17:50
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Re: Driving in France after having lived in Switzerland for a year

Ok, apologies for being frank but: bloody hell OP get your ass down to the local 'Service cantonal des véhicules' and sort out a Swiss license. You don't have to give your Canadian one back, you don't have to take a test, it is all a formality and costs peanuts.

At least looking at the laws in Germany, you are presently required to have a valid driving license in the country of your residence - which you don't. You have a driving license, but it is not valid in your country of residence. There is disagreement on the interpretation and validity of this law, but at best we can argue that "we don't know" and thus you run the risk of driving without a license. The law itself makes sense, otherwise people living abroad (or with multiple passports) could afford to lose one or more licenses before being truly barred from driving. Hint, you don't need to have a Swiss license, just a license valid in Switzerland. Your Canadian license fulfilled this requirement for a year, now you just need to grab a Swiss license too.

Why risk a metric cr*pton of trouble for something as simple to sort out as this? Yes, most likely you won't get into an accident. If you do get into an accident, they most likely won't care about your license predicament. However, if the worst happens and you run someone over or hit a really expensive car, _every_single_ institution that would've most likely handwaved the whole business away will now take an extremely dim view on your case and no amount of "but the law doesn't make sense" will lessen the amount of bending-over-the-barrel you would receive.
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Old 28.04.2015, 17:59
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Re: Driving in France after having lived in Switzerland for a year

This thread is basically exactly according to an anecdote I read many-many years ago on a different forum (here edited):

Quote:
OP: "Help! HELP! I'm stuck in a well!!!"
Reply: "Climb! Climb up and take our hands!"
OP: "I'm thinking I should dig... should I dig?"
Reply: "NO! I was trapped in a well, and digging is a bad idea! Climb out!"
Reply: "Were lowering ropes! Take hold of a rope!"
Reply: "I've even tied a harness to the end of this one!"
OP: "I can feel the ropes, but I don't want to hold onto them... should I dig?"
Reply: "No! If you dig, you'll hit water, and then you'll be proper hosed. I should know, I almost drowned."
OP: "I dug a little bit just now, and I haven't hit water. I'm gonna keep digging..."
Reply: "No! Climb! Climb out!"
OP: "Guys, I'm seriously stuck in this well! Help! HELP!!!"
Reply: "I was trapped in a well once. It took me two years, but I managed to build a climbing machine that pulled me to safety out of a well bucket and a pocket watch. I'm dropping the blueprints, extra buckets, and an assortment of pocket watches."
Reply: "I've engineered a jet-pack that will rocket you to safety. Stay where you are and we'll lower it down!""
"OP: "Thanks for your help, guys. I'm gonna keep digging. I'll find the Mines of Moria and I'll just walk to the surface."
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  #23  
Old 28.04.2015, 19:30
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Re: Driving in France after having lived in Switzerland for a year

The issue is not really driving without a legal licence because the chances of getting caught are low and the chances of getting prosecuted (but read on) are close to zero. The cop will know less about the law than we do, from reading these posts. (And I have confirmed the French rule, which is where this guy was going to drive; only a translation is needed.)

The risk is that the insurance company (or the national Insurance Bureau, the sponsors of the old green-card system) will disclaim cover. Or (as they must under EU law) will pay. And then sue you to get the money back.

I don't know much about Germany. I do know that once I bought a VW car under the tourist purchase programme. And I was at a car wash and some officious guy showed me what might have been a badge and asked for my papers. Which were in order. Unlike in French, I don't know the subtle insults I can use against officious people with badges. (Of course I wouldn't do that in the USA: look what's been going on in Baltimore.)

(I should have asked him (that was 1965) what he was doing during the war. My family asked me if I had when I got back: they still won't buy German. And they celebrate the life of Paul Grüninger, the great Swiss border guard who was cashiered and died a pauper. And was rehabilitated after he died.)

No offense meant to anybody or any country. We all come with our baggage. My family more than most.
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